We’re winding down the pieces I’m featuring for a 90s nostalgia theme, brought on by the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s breakthrough release Nevermind.
Today’s featured writer is Chauncy Gardiner, whose blog I’ve been following for a few years, with daily excerpts from Chauncy’s stories set in Europe, thought-provoking quotes, and images from urban art he’s captured around Paris. Enjoy his piece; the series ends this Saturday.
Threading Through Time,
by Chauncy Gardiner
My CD era started when my first marriage ended. I bought a boombox with CD player and she kept the hi-fi system with turntable.
Splitting the music collection was easy. The only overlap we had was U2. I was an early fan and my ex a more recent fan. She kept the albums and I made cassette copies that are still in a carton.
When I first moved into my new apartment the CD rack looked like wishful thinking. The albums were on Top 40 rotation.
I first learned about Nirvana from the local newspaper. One of those PR articles, with bio, that announced an upcoming concert or the release of a new album. Or maybe it was a profile in Rolling Stone. I did not keep a journal in those days.
Our honeymoon was a trip to my Dad’s place in Orlando. U2 was playing the Jai Alai Fronton. No one else was interested. By the time I next had a chance to see them, I was no longer interested.
In the beginning, most of my CDs were newer releases. I had cassette copies of my favourite albums.
Soon after the separation, their mother moved to England. The kids would visit during their school holidays. I asked them what they thought of the music. It was OK, in the way stuff parents like can never be cool.
I asked my son if he had heard of the Beatles. He rolled his eyes – music for old people.
I remember reading that Paul McCartney had a new band called the Wings. I shared the news with one of the cool kids. He snorted “everyone knows that.” Their first album had been out for a few months. His parents were probably Beatles fans.
I heard Sting say that he thought Police’s success was too quick. They had not had to pay their dues with years of playing small clubs. I think he was explaining the band’s breakup.
Kurt Cobain said journalists paid too much attention to his lyrics. I was disappointed when they cancelled their European tour. I was surprised he owned a shotgun.
My daughter was hanging out with some older friends. They were surprised how well she knew Nirvana. She thanked me for her musical education.
I’m at my son’s place after a long day with out-of-town family. I start improvising a playlist and start with the Chambers Brothers. It gives me 11 minutes of time to choose the next songs. We psychedelicize on to Rikki Illonga, inchkii, Beat Antique’s Grateful Dead cover…the next day he copies the songs from my hard disk. When I come out of the shower, he is listening intently to The Velvet’s Murder Mystery.
The learning never stops.